Whether your employer misunderstood the state and federal laws regarding maternity leave and pregnancy, or they willfully violated a rule, they need to be held accountable for that poor decision. Pregnancy discrimination is one of the most common types of discrimination in Pennsylvania, and sadly, it often goes unchecked. You can take action by working with the HKM Employment Attorneys. We have successfully helped workers who have suffered from pregnancy discrimination receive the compensation that they deserve, and ensured that their employers think twice about committing those illegal acts again.
Pregnancy Discrimination Act
Under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, it is illegal for employers to make any unfavorable employment decision or to harass an employee based on a pregnancy or recent birth of a child. It is an employer’s responsibility to understand this federal law. Additionally, they must understand our state laws set out in the Human Relations Commission. This includes § 41.102, which prohibits exclusion of pregnant applicants or employees from employment.
Types of Pregnancy Discrimination
Any negative employment decision based on a woman’s pregnancy status, either perceived or real, is a form of pregnancy discrimination. An applicant does not have to disclose her pregnancy during hiring, nor does she need to tell her employer when she gets pregnant. Questions regarding your pregnancy during hiring are in violation of the law, as are all of the following unfavorable employment decisions when based on pregnancy:
- Refusal to hire
- Denial of benefits
- Denial of promotion or raise
- Denial of overtime pay, unpaid time off, or paid time off
- Denial of a reasonable accommodation
- Creating a hostile work environment
- Transferring the employee to a different department
- Moving the employee to a less desirable office or workspace
- Excluding the employee
- Hurt the employee’s career in any way
Family and Medical Leave Act
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that mandates employers to give employees who have recently given birth 12 weeks of unpaid time off to care for their unborn child with no threat of demotion or retribution when they return. This law also extends to new fathers. Employers must also allow the new mother or father to stay on their group health insurance plan at the same cost and benefits for those 12 weeks.
An Employment Attorney Will Fight for Your Rights in the Workplace
A female employee or applicant should not have to hide her pregnancy for fear of being discriminated against. Being pregnant comes with enough stress, anxiety, and excitement without having to worry about unfavorable employment decisions made by your employer. Your job is something that should ideally remain stable, and your employer has no right to make negative employment decisions based on your pregnancy status. We have more than 40 years of experience defending employees and are prepared to review your case and make sure that your rights are protected. Feel free to reach out to the Pennsylvania law offices of HKM Employment Attorneys today at 412-368-5754.
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